Learning to Lean on God

            I had known what is what like to be paralyzed long before I became a paraplegic. Anxiety caused me to forget who I was as a person and emotionally kept me at a standstill. Sometimes, no matter how much I screamed for my body to move in the moment, fear would physically stop me in my tracks. Have you ever felt a moment of crippling anxiety or fear? There is no need to feel ashamed when feeling these emotions. Fear and anxiety are emotions that everyone will feel at some point in their life. Satan will try to distract you from God with these emotions. He will convince you that feeling these emotions equates to hopelessness. He will try to get you to say, “I am a powerless coward because there is nothing I can do.” However, this isn’t true because feelings these emotions gives you the opportunity to rely on the Lord.

            Courage is when you’re given the strength from God to move because you’re choosing to trust Him in the midst of debilitating emotions. Daniel 6 tells the story of how God’s servant Daniel was cast into the lion’s den due to the actions of jealous peers. These men manipulated the king into making a decree that lasted for thirty days. It said that anyone who worshipped a being other than the king himself would be cast into the pit of lions. These men knew that Daniel would disobey the decree in order to worship the Lord. Thus, Daniel was thrown into the den to spend a night with the lions. Daniel 6 only has 5 verses that mention Daniel’s perspective physically and emotionally. The first instance is in Daniel 6:10-11 when Daniel goes home after the decree is signed and gives thanks and praise to God 3 times a day as he had always done. The second time is in Daniel 6:21-23 where it mentions that God sent an angel down to close the mouths of the lions so that they would not harm Daniel because he trusted in the Lord.

            Daniel may or may not have felt scared in the Lion’s den. Even if he was afraid, it was okay because he had more trust in God than he had fear of the lions. Daniel always prayed to God in thanks and praised Him no matter his circumstances, just like Jesus. In Mark 14:34-36, Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane prayed to God for strength with facing the brutal death that was to come.

And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Jesus shows in these verses that it okay to be scared and anxious, because as children of God we have the ability to put everything into His loving hands. This is especially true in the moments when our feelings are too strong to bear on our own.